The Chase

Bucky Bitters struggles to escape the airborne affections of Derpy Hooves after a chance encounter caused them to bump noses together. His real mistake was trying to comfort the mare after the snoot-bump. Little does the poor stallion realise that their meeting was only the prologue to a journey that will change not only his life, but the lives around him forever.

This story is a sequel to The Catch


78. 78

It was another day in the brewery, almost like any other. Bucky was driven by a desire to understand something he could barely even put into words, and as of late it had bordered on mania. Today, Bucky’s mind felt much clearer. Lyra’s vigil through the night had allowed him to get the deep restful sleep he had so desperately needed.

He discarded the dregs of another failure and heaved a sigh. He felt a nudge from Berry, her hoof rubbing a spot that wasn’t covered in burned over scar tissue. The faint bit of irritation he was starting to feel dissolved with her touch, as it always did. It was something Bucky intended to study later, when life settled down a bit, the touch of earth ponies and their seemingly calming effect upon other ponies. The effect that Bon Bon and Berry Punch had on him couldn’t be mere coincidence.

“Look, that batch was drinkable, it really wasn’t bad, you are getting closer,” Berry encouraged. “Care to tell me more about what you are trying to accomplish here, other than creating beer using nothing but raw ingredients and magic?”

“Molecular assembly,” Bucky muttered.

“I know that you big snob,” Berry quipped. “You’ve mentioned wanting to create steel. Look, if I can’t get you inside of me, then I want to be inside of you. Let me inside of your head. I am a big filly, and I am capable of understanding all those big brainy concepts you have floating around between your ears.”

Bucky smiled faintly. “I worry sometimes that you might actually be smarter than I am,” Bucky admitted.

“Oh, I don’t worry about that at all,” Berry retorted. “I already know I am smarter than you are. Which is why you should talk to me. I might not know magic, but I might be able to help you.”

Bucky chuckled, his mood improving. “If I can manage to work through the complexity of beer brewing, I should be able to understand the theory of how to make other complex items. In particular, steel. The iron here on the island is both soft and brittle. It is unsuitable for my purposes. I am going to need to refine it into steel. And there is no foundry. There is no ironworks here capable of such a thing. I am hoping that by learning to manipulate pressure, time, heat, cold, all of these things in one contained sphere, I will be able to work molten iron, add charcoal for carbon, remove the slag and the impurities, and then form the basic components into carbon steel. Something light, strong, and sturdy.”

“And with this steel… you intend to protect your precious skin,” Berry stated, her words slow and carefully spoken.

“Correct,” answered Bucky as he looked into the eyes of the earth pony mare he so loved.

“And the wolves won’t be able to phase through the metal because you intend to imbue it magically somehow,” Berry said thoughtfully. “You’re a clever pony.”

“I try to be,” Bucky acknowledged.

“So you protect your skin, you eradicate the wolves, remove the threat they pose, Derpy seals whatever deal she has with Thistle, and we can go home, right?” Berry questioned.

“That is the general idea,” Bucky replied, now eyeing the beer in the crude glass he had created. “This batch turned out a toasty red colour,” he commented.

“You know, you can’t do this alone Bucky,” Berry warned in a soft voice. “As much as I know you want to, there is still the matter of the magical fear the wolves generate. What if your spells fail again? What if the wolves still have some magical trick you are not aware of?”

“I have been giving that a lot of thought. To be honest, I am not sure of the solution. I refuse to put anypony else at risk, but I do acknowledge that I will probably need the help. I just haven’t figured out a way to keep my helpers out of harm’s way just yet,” Bucky admitted.

“Helpers?” Berry asked, raising an eyebrow. “Why do I get the feeling that Derpy is going to be giving you a thrashing when she finds out about this?”

Bucky grimaced at Berry’s words and his remaining eye squeezed shut.

“Oh, you are planning exactly what I think you are planning… you do intend to bring Sparkler and Rising Star along don’t you?” Berry questioned. She reached out and carefully stroked the good side of Bucky’s face.

“Yes, if I can figure out a way to keep them safe and out of harms way somehow. Lyra too now that she is here. Putting them all in armor seems like one solution, but I am not sure that it is a good solution. I have been wracking my way trying to find some means of keeping them safe, it is driving me crazy,” Bucky confessed.

The earth pony mare heaved a sigh. “It was really nice having you as husband. You are awesome at sex. Derpy is going to kill you. I mean she is probably going to actually kill you if you spring this on her,” Berry quipped.

Bucky looked up at Berry and focused his remaining eye on her.

“She’s been so stressed out over everything. She almost lost you. Sparkler went off and got married. She worries for Thistle and if Thistle and the foal are healthy. She worries about you constantly. She worries that Sentinel hasn’t had time to be a foal and he acts entirely too grown up and it bothers her a great deal. If you break this to her, she might just go berserk. A pegasus will do that you know. You know what she did to Keg Smasher. Derpy is still having trouble accepting that Sparkler is growing up. She doesn’t say anything of course, but I know my best friend. But to put Sparkler in harms way?” said Berry as she shook her head.

“I know,” Bucky replied in a weak doubt filled voice, a voice that sounded more like his old wavering and worry filled voice, his deep confident baritone now gone. “But I can’t do this alone… and I have to do this. It is more than just revenge, although I will admit that revenge is my motivation. I want to hurt them for what they did to me,” Bucky confessed. “And I will. But I can’t do this alone.”

“So what we need is a means to keep the others out of reach,” Berry said, using her gift to state the obvious.

The unicorn gave a hesitant nod.

“I have an idea,” Berry whispered, her eyes widening as her mind raced.

“Well, don’t keep me waiting,” Bucky grumbled.

“We put them where the wolves can’t reach them,” Berry announced.

Bucky gave a frustrated snort and said nothing in reply.

“What we need is an airship,” Berry quipped. “A small one. A floating platform held aloft by a gasbag. I know the wolves can teleport and shadow wink, I have been reading that book as well. But if the platform is well lit the wolves will have no power if they manage to make it up there. Lyra can be up there, and so can Rising Star and Sparkler. We probably don’t have the time or the resources to make arcano-tech engines for mobility, but thankfully we have a few pegasi in our herd. We can use them to maneuver the craft around,” Berry explained.

“You are beautiful and clever,” Bucky gasped.

“I know,” Berry replied nonchalantly. “Derpy and I are the best things that has ever happened to you.”

“No, really, you are a rare prize among mares… there are times I feel so undeserving of you and Derpy,” Bucky stated.

“Oh shut up you loon,” Berry growled. “Enough with the neurosis, it no longer suits you.”

“I could act as bait and they could rain down death from above,” Bucky said, thinking out loud, Berry’s idea filling his brain with creative inspiration.

“The term is ‘carpet bombing’ and unicorn airships did it during our last war with the griffons. I learned about it in history class in university,” Berry explained.

“I love you to death and I want to have foals with you,” Bucky whispered.

“Aw, you’re so sweet sometimes, telling a mare just what she wants to hear,” Berry replied, her words ending with a coy giggle.

“So a floating weapons platform. It would also allow us to go from island to island in our hunt for the wolves. It could be used to rapidly deploy me to an area, I could drop down from there, draw in the wolves, and then we can collectively blast them into smithereens. I can keep them busy on the ground, cluster them up into tight groups, and then death and fire could be rained down upon them from above,” Bucky said, his eye going wide with excitement.

“Plus, I think Derpy would let you live,” Berry added. “Which is a good thing, because I really want to have some foals with you.”

“I could enchant my armor to protect me from all kinds of spells and I can magically shield myself. Those above could rain down destruction with impunity,” Bucky said, his ears quivering with barely contained excitement.

“And then we can go home,” Berry sighed. “I really hope that Derpy allows Thistle to come home with us.”

“I take it you and Thistle are becoming close?” Bucky asked.

“Yes, I’ll admit, I like her. I think she will be a good addition to our herd,” Berry answered.

“I will admit, I find myself with a troubling attraction to her,” Bucky confessed.

“She’s pretty,” Berry agreed. “If I might ask, what do you find attractive about her?” asked Berry in a quizzical tone.

Bucky felt heat bloom through his face and in his ears. “Oh, it is silly… I don’t know if I can talk about it,” he said sheepishly.

“Look, I have ways of making you talk,” Berry threatened as she sat down beside Bucky, tired of standing on her hooves.

“It is her belly,” Bucky admitted, his voice barely a whisper. “There is something about pregnancy that I find-”

“You have a pregnancy fetish,” Berry interrupted.

“I dunno, maybe?” Bucky sighed.

“Imagine Derpy and I all fat with your foals,” Berry said seductively. “Our bellies all huge and round, our teats swollen-”

“Stop! Oh please, this is torture!” Bucky pleaded.

Berry guffawed, her whole body shaking with laughter.

“I didn’t even know this was a thing,” Bucky confessed. “I suppose it is.”

“Yes, it is. So we have finally found your special kink. Mine is rope, yours is pregnancy, we still need to discover Derpy’s I think,” Berry announced.

“And Thistle’s as well if she is to be a part of our herd,” Bucky stated.

“I suppose so,” Berry agreed. “You know, this is a good thing.”

“It is?” Bucky asked.

“Most mares get a little emotional during their pregnancy. They feel fat and unattractive. It has been my experience that a mare really needs to be feel sexy and good looking to her mate during those moments, and having a pregnancy fetish is bound to make things better for all of us,” Berry explained.

“It is my fondest wish that you and Derpy become pregnant,” Bucky said, baring his soul. “I want to be a father and do all of the things my father never did. Dinky and Piña are wonderful, and Sentinel is great, but I want more foals than I know what to do with,” Bucky confessed.

“You and Barley both,” Berry acknowledged. “We should call it quits. Today, you came closer than any of your previous attempts. Let’s head back and check out how they are doing with their school. Derpy’s probably got a pile of foals and I really need to cuddle something before I lose my mind. I don’t know what has come over me lately. I think all of this hardship has me wanting to reaffirm life.”

“Actually, I think we got a lot accomplished here today. I have the missing piece in my plan,” Bucky stated. “And that’s important. I am going to need your help getting Derpy to agree with this.”

“I will help you. I understand the necessity of why you need Rising Star and Sparkler,” Berry offered in reply.

“Berry, look out the window… do you see what I see?” Bucky said, craning his head.

Berry looked out the window and saw the sky was filled with pegasi pulling chariots and sky wagons. Her mouth dropped open.

“We need to get back to the castle immediately, come on, let’s go,” Bucky urged.

The earth pony mare said nothing in reply but rose to her hooves and took off in a hurry, eager to return home.

Cadance’s convoy had arrived.




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